Posted: Sep 13, 2007 8:54 pm
Well, I for one am not encouraged by that article. Sutton comes off a hell of a lot better than Deyo, though. Some choice quotes:
When asked how he'd do things differently from former commission president Rey Flemings — whose self-interested leadership coupled with the organization's inertia during his tenure symbolize the commission's failures in the public mind — Sutton says, "I've already been validated."
"I'm sorry, Mr. Sutton. The question was not about how you feel about yourself. The question was 'What will you do differently to turn around a failing organization?' "
Rather than aiming for a one-time big splash like the MTV awards, Sutton defines the role of the new music commission as empowering artists through high-level industry connections.
High-level industry connections? In the industry whose business model is going the way of the buggy whip? The current business model is doomed, but that doesn't mean there won't be a music business in twenty years, only that they will have a new business model. Supporting people who have the potential to come up with new ideas would be a much better use of the limited funds available.
In other words, supporting small business is more important than attracting large business.
They've used money from the unused executive director's salary to subsidize local events like Goner Fest and organizations such as the Center for Southern Folklore.
Excellent. How about not hiring another executive director so we can continue to use the money for important things.
Memphis Tomorrow formed committees within its membership, focusing on each of the target industries. Phil Trenary, CEO of Pinnacle Airlines, for example, chairs the music-industry development committee.
If there's one thing airline executives know, it's the music industry.
Contrast this statement:
Finally, Sutton stresses visibility and accountability for the commission in the local music community.
With this statement:
Deyo says his group can function more effectively without having its books open, like the music commission must do as a public entity.
"If you're a public body, everything you do can be discussed in public," Deyo says. "You have to give information to anyone anytime they want it."
God forbid we know how you're using your money to "help us". This is called the "Networx Model of Public/Private Partnership". He took control of the fundraising arm of the music commission and then split it from the main organization so no one can see what he does with the money. What could possibly go wrong?
Deyo has entered negotiations to bring an independent recording studio to Memphis.
Golly, those out-of-towners can sure help us out! I sure do wish we had some of them independent recording studios of our own. Don't you, Jack Stands
Once again, this is the problem. The goal should not be attracting out-of-towners. The goal should be helping Memphians do for themselves. We don't need another recording studio, we need to help the studios we have flourish and to find a good way to get the music recorded there out to a larger audience.
A proposed Sam Phillips Independent Music Center hung its fate on a network of music-industry service "providers" who would donate their time to the center and assist Memphis music professionals. No such providers were identified in the plan, and their recruitment doesn't seem to have been accounted for
Um Hm. Sam Phillips Center. That's all I'm going to say.
...a Memphis counterpart to the pioneering live-music TV program Austin City Limits.
That's actually a good idea, if only they would use local talent to produce it and not get an out-of-towner.
A Memphis "Grand Ole Opry"-style venue, featuring perfect acoustics and state-of-the-art technical infrastructure, located at the corner of Beale and Third, obviously failed to materialize. The plan called for "sponsorships from major electronics manufacturers," not otherwise identified, to fund the venue.
The Gibson Lounge actually fits that bill pretty good. They've got a lot of expensive equipment, but it seems like every time I go there they've got sound problems.
The strategic plan's priority schedule rated developing the now-defunct music commission Web site a 10, for highest priority. Likewise, a "global concert event," a Memphis Music Conference, and something called the "digital distribution initiative" were given top-priority ratings without ever materializing.
Live from Memphis already provides those services. With a little support, they could expand to cover the whole city. If that is indeed their highest priority, and their attempt at creating a Web site failed, why not help support the people who have proven they actually can run a Web site?
So the claim that we lack infrastructure is suspect. We've got infrastructure. We lack capital, and what little city and county help is made available is promptly squandered on nest-feathering.
And since I can't look at a dead horse without wanting to beat the hell out of it, check out this item from the Commercial Appeal:
Memphis Arts Council spends six figures to decide they need to change their name
. This is the same arts council...excuse me, ArtMemphis...that has repeatedly turned down requests from Live from Memphis for support.
Roan conducted in-depth interviews with 48 arts and community leaders and found that many perceived a lack of openness within the organization.
"I nearly fell out of my chair when I heard that," said Schadt.
Another perception was that money is just being funneled into elite cultural activities with no real benefit to the city.
"People think that the arts council is raising money to support ballet dancers, but really it's about supporting and nurturing the creative class," Roan said. "The one deal breaker when companies move to new cities is if the city doesn't have any culture. People have to know that supporting the arts is also about attracting business to Memphis."
uh huh... And how do you do that?
Its Web site, now mainly a catalog of event listings, is being developed into a citywide promotional tool for the arts. Someday, patrons may be able to buy tickets for local performances online.